Lydia Ko, New Zealand

Lydia Ko is the teenage golf sensation bringing awareness and enthusiasm to the Ladies professional circuit.

The New Zealander, born in April 1997 in Seoul, South Korea, began playing golf from the young age of five. With the support of her parents and coaches, Ko’s natural talent was encouraged and fostered throughout her youth.  While still just an amateur Ko began winning professional events garnering the attention of both the media and other professional golfers. At the age of 14 she became the youngest person to ever win a professional golf event after claiming victory at the Bing Lee/Samsung Women’s NSW Open on the ALPG Tour.  Later that year in August 2012 Ko won her first LPGA event, the CN Canadian Women’s Open. At the time becoming the youngest player to win on the LPGA tour.

Success continued for the young golfer over the following months and she was able to successfully defend the CN Canadian Women’s Open in 2013. During this time Ko was still competing as an amateur player and was therefore unable to collect any earnings she had won.  By the end of 2013 it was announced Ko would be turning pro after receiving permission from the LPGA to waive its minimum age requirement. The then-16-year-old announced the news via her Twitter account in a video alongside New Zealand rugby player Israel Dagg.

Ko’s first professional win came in just her second start, claiming victory at Taiwan’s Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters. By the end of 2013 Ko experienced some major changes, including signing with Callaway Golf and parting ways with her only-ever coach Guy Wilson.

In April 2014, the Callaway player secured her first professional win on the LPGA Tour at the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in California, just days after turning 17.  During the same month Ko was also named one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World. A pretty amazing feat for someone under the age of 18!

2015 proved to be a pinnacle year for the young golfer as she claimed the number one spot on the Official World Golf Rankings in February. Making her the youngest player ever, at 17 to hold the position, shattering Tiger Woods’ previous record of 21.  Just two weeks later Ko secured her first win as World Number 1 at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.  Ko would go on to claim four more wins in 2015 including her first major victory at the Evian Championship in September.

In 2016 the New Zealander won another four LPGA Tour titles including her second major win at the ANA Inspiration.  By the year's end Ko began making major changes in her career, parting ways with her caddie, coaches and first professional sponsor, Callaway Golf.  On January 1, 2017 it was announced the World Number One had signed an equipment deal with the new brand Parsons Xtreme Golf. 

LPGA Career Wins:

2012 - CN Canadian Women's Open (won as an amateur)
2013 - CN Canadian Women's Open (won as an amateur)
2014 - Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic
2014 - Marathon Classic
2014 - CME Group Tour Championship
2015 - ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open
2015 - Swinging Skirts LPGA Championship
2015 - Canadian Pacific Women's Open
2015 - The Evian Championship
2015 - Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship
2016 - Kia Classic
2016 - ANA Inspiration
2016 - Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
2016 - Marathon Classic

What's in the bag? - Lydia Ko

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